Hypertext Webster Gateway: "sustain"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Sustain \Sus*tain"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Sustained}; p. pr. &
vb. n. {Sustaining}.] [OE. sustenen, susteinen, OF. sustenir,
sostenir, F. soutenir (the French prefix is properly fr. L.
subtus below, fr. sub under), L. sustinere; pref. sus- (see
{Sub-}) + tenere to hold. See {Tenable}, and cf.
1. To keep from falling; to bear; to uphold; to support; as,
a foundation sustains the superstructure; a beast sustains
a load; a rope sustains a weight.

Every pillar the temple to sustain. --Chaucer.

2. Hence, to keep from sinking, as in despondence, or the
like; to support.

No comfortable expectations of another life to
sustain him under the evils in this world.

3. To maintain; to keep alive; to support; to subsist; to
nourish; as, provisions to sustain an army.

4. To aid, comfort, or relieve; to vindicate. --Shak.

His sons, who seek the tyrant to sustain. --Dryden.

5. To endure without failing or yielding; to bear up under;
as, to sustain defeat and disappointment.

6. To suffer; to bear; to undergo.

Shall Turnus, then, such endless toil sustain?

You shall sustain more new disgraces. --Shak.

7. To allow the prosecution of; to admit as valid; to
sanction; to continue; not to dismiss or abate; as, the
court sustained the action or suit.

8. To prove; to establish by evidence; to corroborate or
confirm; to be conclusive of; as, to sustain a charge, an
accusation, or a proposition.

Syn: To support; uphold; subsist; assist; relieve; suffer;

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Sustain \Sus*tain"\, n.
One who, or that which, upholds or sustains; a sustainer.

I waked again, for my sustain was the Lord. --Milton.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

v 1: lengthen or extend in duration or space; "We sustained the
diplomatic negociations as long as possible"; "prolong
the treatment of the patient"; "keep up the good work"
[syn: {prolong}, {keep up}]
2: undergo (as of injuries and illnesses); "She suffered a
fracture in the accident"; "He had an insulin shock after
eating three candy bars"; "She got a bruise on her leg";
"He got his arm broken in the scuffle" [syn: {suffer}, {have},
3: provide with nourishment; "We sustained ourselves on bread
and water"; "This kind of food is not nourishing for young
children" [syn: {nourish}, {nurture}]
4: supply with necessities and support: "She alone sustained
her family"; "The money will sustain our good cause";
"There's little to earn and many to keep" [syn: {keep}, {maintain}]
5: be the physical support of; carry the weight of; "The beam
holds up the roof"; "He supported me with one hand while I
balanced on the beam"; "What's holding that mirror?" [syn:
{hold}, {support}, {hold up}]
6: admit as valid; "The court sustained the motion"
7: establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts; "his
story confirmed my doubts"; "The evidence supports the
defendant" [syn: {confirm}, {corroborate}, {substantiate},
{support}, {affirm}] [ant: {negate}]

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